September 5, 2008 in Seven

HBO series riveting, dramatic, even therapeutic

From staff and wire reports
 

“Outsourced”

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Culture clash is one of the age-old ways that filmmakers use to create cinematic tension. And nowhere is that kind of clash more prevalent than in India, especially when the country is encountered by an American naïf. When such a person – Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton), the manager of a Seattle-based call center – sees his department fired and the job sent to India, he can’t see what an opportunity he has been given. Even so, he agrees to train his replacement, an action that leads him ultimately to a new understanding of himself. John Jeffcoat’s film uses good lead performances, by Hamilton and Indian stars Ayesha Dharker and Asif Basra, and he avoids the most egregious cultural stereotypes to make this entertaining little movie. DVD includes commentary by director Jeffcoat, producers David Skinner and Tom Gorai, making-of featurettes. (1:38; rated PG-13 for some sexual content)

– By Dan Webster

“Storm Over Everest”

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After several books, including Jon Krakauer’s best-seller “Into Thin Air,” documentary filmmaker David Breashears takes his turn at telling what happened during the infamous 1996 Mount Everest expedition that killed five people. First shown on Public Television’s “Frontline,” “Storm Over Everest” bears all the familiar IMAX stylistic touches: talking-head interviews, dramatic re-creations, voiceover narration, striking photography. That’s not surprising as Breashears was on the mountain at the time, filming what would become his visual-rich 1996 IMAX short “Everest.” Though you can argue with some of Breashears’ artistic choices – the re-creations, though professionally done, feel jarring when presented with photos taken of the actual event – the interviews prove moving. Especially poignant is Beck Weathers, who told his own story in the book “Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest.” DVD includes photo gallery, DVD-ROM online features. (1:49; not rated)

– By Dan Webster

“Married Life”

This engaging romance noir is a sort of updated “The Postman Always Rings Twice” that packs its surprises into four characters, none of them predictable. Set in 1949, it stars Chris Cooper as Harry, a middle-aged husband having an affair with a kept, much younger woman, Kay (Rachel McAdams). His wife, Pat (Patricia Clarkson), is oblivious and seemingly devoted to him. When he confides his secret to playboy-pal Richard (Pierce Brosnan), Harry creates more problems: Richard starts falling in love with Kay, too. And in this movie, romantic entanglements turn increasingly life-threatening. DVD, which is available in Blu-ray, includes commentary by director Ira Sachs, alternative endings. (1:30; rated PG-13 for scene of sexuality, some thematic elements)

– By Desson Thomson, The Washington Post

Also available: “Ballet Shoes,” “The Blue Elephant,” “Bratz Girls Really Rock,” “Extreme Movie,” “Flood,” “How to Rob a Bank,” “Kings,” “Monster Camp,” “The Promotion”


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